If we are at the dawn of the age of ubiquitous drones, as augurs like those at the Economist have argued, we are also at the dawn of people using drones in innovative, if perhaps not fully thought-out, scenarios. This is my thoughtful way of saying — Get ready to watch some yahoos rock drone ice-fishing.
The division between old-school model aircraft and drones is not simply a matter of technology. It’s that new unmanned aerial systems have a flexibility that allows them to swallow other hobbies — be it photography, fishing, or, temporarily, delivering beer to ice fisherman. (The Federal Aviation Administration, upon catching wind of Minnesota-based brewery Lakemaid’s aerial adventures, cited commercial restrictions when it put UAV bootlegging on ice.)
As long as you’re not paying anyone, the FAA hasn’t said much about Arctic char angling or whatever else you do with the drone — it’s more about where you fly it (not above heads, not near airports), rather than what you do with it. And because anglers have a long tradition of bending new technology to their will — see the Bluetooth-enabled iBobber sonar fishfinder — why not drones? It works, after all. Watch the Uncut Angling YouTubers successfully haul in their catch via drone below:
The video also works as a portent of the FAA’s fears. The agency might not have strong opinions on fish, but it definitely doesn’t enjoy watching drones crash near people’s craniums.
So expect more drone fishers — this is, remarkably, not the first time someone’s nabbed a fish on the end of the drone — and also prepare for the distracted droning PSAs. Catching yourself on a fishhook sucks; catching yourself with a fishhook dangling from the end of a drone is a torture scene out of a Mad Max sequel.